Oct 12, 2011

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Community Voice – Multiplayer: Should Every Game Have It?

Community Voice – Multiplayer: Should Every Game Have It?

Maybe it’s just me, but it often feels as if “multiplayer” is the new buzzword bullet point in the video game industry.  A game isn’t complete, especially if it’s a triple-A title, unless it has a multiplayer component. Even if the game has a solid singleplayer experience, even if multiplayer is literally tacked on, many publishers require the games they publish to offer some sort of multiplayer mode. While this can often result in some interesting experiences, more often than not, it creates more problems than it solves. Often the best situation is that the multiplayer component, while solid (or at least creative) in itself, feels tacked on and is quickly ignored by gamers (Bioshock 2 or Dead Space 2, anyone?); at worst, the multiplayer, outsourced to another developer, is so horrible it actually sours the singleplayer experience, or, even worse: the time spent on developing the multiplayer modes takes away from the singeplayer campaign, leaving you with a mediocre overall product. As the saying goes, Jack of all trades and master of none.

Lately, Bioware’s space epic Mass Effect has been in the news, as the rumors of a multiplayer mode were soon confirmed, then detailed. For the first time, Mass Effect 3 will feature a four-player co-op mode, that while optional, will affect the singleplayer story. So far, the reactions have been mixed. While some fans are excited at the prospect of saving the galaxy with the help of our of their buddies, others are concerned that Bioware is losing its focus on creating an epic singleplayer experience (despite the dev’s assurances to the contrary).

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of multiplayer; nothing against it, it’s just not usually my thing, so seeing multiplayer added to games is something I normally ignore, unless I’m worried it will sullen the singleplayer experience.

What do you think? Should companies stop throwing multiplayer into every big game, or is it a good thing to see more multiplayer experiences? Let us hear your voice in the comments.

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